Lansing mayor added to suit against police over man's death

Oralandar Brand-Williams
The Detroit News

The mayor of Lansing has been added to a federal lawsuit that alleges excessive force by city police caused the death of a 54-year-old man last year in the city's jail.

Mayor Andy Schor was named as a defendant in the lawsuit filed last October in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan by the Southfield law firm of Buckfire & Buckfire.

The lawsuit states Schor "pursuant to the Charter, at all times relevant, was granted final decision-making authority concerning the supervision of the LPD."

The complaint alleges that Schor and police chief Daryl Green "knew or reasonably should have known, that the force used by the Defendant officers was excessive and in violation of the Fourth Amendment and the LPD’s policies and procedures regarding the use of handcuffs and restraint devices."

Lansing city attorney Jim Smiertka, who is representing the mayor and others named in the lawsuit, said Wednesday, "We're going to file a motion to dismiss." He said the city has "tons" of video and bodycam video footage that dispute the allegations in the lawsuit.

"(The lawsuit) doesn't have any base or fact in law," added Smiertka. He said videos in the lawsuit have been forwarded to the Michigan Attorney General's Office for an investigation.

Anthony Hulon

The lawsuit alleges that officers used "excessive force" and the department permitted "collusive statements" by the officers in the death of Anthony Hulon of Lansing.

Hulon died April 11 while restrained face-down in police custody in the Lansing jail after telling officers, "I can't breathe." Hulon was handcuffed behind his back and pinned to the ground by Lansing police in a cell, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit, filed on behalf of Hulon's family members, names as defendants the mayor, police chief and officers Gary Worden, Charles Wright, Trevor Allman, Bill Windom and Edgar Guerra, plus the city of Lansing.

Worden had written in an incident report that Hulon "was visibly under the influence of narcotics believed to be meth. Hulon was escorted to cell 6-3 without any issues. Hulon then started taking clothes off and was pacing the cell and yelling. Hulon’s behavior continued for approx. 8 hrs at which point Hulon stated he was very sweaty and hot. Sgt. Windham [sic] notified dispatch to have LFD and an Ofc transport Hulon for medical evaluation.”